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Time Release Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Memory Series

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The Amazon Book Review
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Here's an exceptionally smart and exciting first thriller from a fine journalist who knows how to take items from recent headlines--poison in painkillers, repressed memory--and turn them into totally absorbing fiction. Psychologist Jim Christensen, raising two daughters on his own, has many reasons not to get involved in a mass murder case which could harm his family. But the troubled boy at the heart of the mystery is too much of a challenge for Christensen to resist.

About the Author

Martin J. Smith is a veteran journalist and magazine editor. He has won more than 40 newspaper and magazine writing awards, and four times was nominated by his newspaper for the Pulitzer Prize.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he began writing professionally while a student at Pennsylvania State University in the late 1970s. His 15-year career as a newspaper reporter took him around the world, from the rural poverty of Southwestern Pennsylvania to Nevada?s Mustang Ranch bordello; from the riot-torn streets of Los Angeles to the revolutionary streets of Manila; from pre-glasnost Siberia to the new frontier of cyberspace. He currently is editor-at-large of Orange Coast magazine in Orange County, Calif., a regional monthly magazine he edited for four years.

Smith lives with his wife and their two children in Southern California, where he remains part of an often overlooked minority -- the Soccer Dad.

You can email the author at enos@ix.netcom.com

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; 1st Printing edition (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515120286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515120288
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,297,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 3, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The title of Time Release gives a clue to its story. First, it concerns a killer who used pain relief capsules, as well as other techniques, to set off a series of poisonings. Second, it focuses on repressed memories and if, when and how they will come out. The author does a credible job with both themes, though I would have liked to have seen a little more interaction between Sonny and Christiansen in earlier therapy sessions, which would have provided a few more clues to the behavior of Sonny's family. Without this explanation, the climax came a little bit out of left field for me. The detective's confession to Christiansen came suddenly too, without much reason. These quibbles aside, the book was entertaining, with the major characters nicely drawn.
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As good now as it was then...a timeless read, worth reading! A classic suspense yarn, the kind that keeps you stuck to the pages, aching to know "who done it?" Smith creates and handles his characters with such ease you are convinced they are real and in fact they stay with you, following you from room to room long after you've put the book down, pestering you to keep reading until you know the whole story. If you like suspense, you will love Time Release!
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I enjoyed this book, but only up to a point. For me, the flaws nearly ruined it.

I found the beginning to be quite good. At first, the Pittsburgh setting was enjoyable (I'm from the area). But after a while, the author's attention to local details became tiresome. That's really not a serious issue since it's pretty easy to just skip past that.

I was also surprised to learn that the story was written in 1997. That's not a problem, but it's a little jarring when characters use outdated technology (pagers instead of cell phones) if you're not expecting it.

As the story progressed, it became darker. That's to be expected with psychological thrillers, I guess. However, I'd fallen for the idea that this was going to be a more pleasant book when the language shifted from PG-rated to R-rated and the secrets unearthed became more deviant. Still, that's probably par for a book of this genre.

What I found upsetting was that (minor spoiler alert here) all the people in the story who believe the Bible were evil, sadistic monsters. It's as if having a knowledge of scripture makes a person into a vicious beast. Now, I hope that author Martin J. Smith does not believe that, but there's nothing in the book to hint otherwise. No good character is portrayed as having a faith and no one with faith is good. If there had been one character to offset this bias, I would not have been offended.

Personally, I'm really tired of anyone with any kind of Christian faith being portrayed as evil. The people I know who have a faith are better for it, so this just doesn't ring true with me. If the author has an axe to grind against a large proportion of his potential audience, then he should expect to find it offends them.
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By Elaine on December 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A brilliant detective thriller! Every page turned, had me wanting more of the author's portrayal of the unexpected twists and action that kept me on the edge of my seat. He delves into the minds of the best and the worst in people...insanity that belies explanation. Martin Smith gets a ten rating from me!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you like the TV series "Homicide," you'll want to read this book. The complex, unorthodox plot is told from the perspectives of three men--a washed-up cop, a troubled pyschologist, and the stoic son of a serial-murder suspect--each of whom harbors his own terrible secret. The three are locked in a desperate psychological tug of war, and only two of them will survive it. The characters are unglamorous, at times awkwardly imperfect, and utterly believable. Perhaps the best thing about "Time Release" is the sense of place. In the author's hands, the hard-edged gloom of rustbelt Pittsburgh becomes an oddly beautiful setting, and an apt metaphor for the torturous inner landscape of the protagonists.
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Well written and edited unlike so many self published books, this one truly deserves high ratings and praise. Martin Smith has written a very credible story of a dysfunctional abusive family, a twisted mind using product tampering to murder both random, and targeted victims, and repressed memories due to psychological trauma.

With unexpected twists to the story Smith leads you down different paths as you follow the attempts of Pittsburgh detective Grady Downing to bring a ten year old case, product tampering (poisoning) suspect to justice. Downing recruits psychologist Jim Christensen to help by introducing him to Sonny Corbett, son of suspect Ron Corbett. Sonny has psychological problems resulting from the dysfunctional family relationship - his abusive father Ron Corbett, mentally ill mother Sandra Corbett, the suicide of brother David Corbett, and the contaminated Primenyl medicine murders.
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Diverting account of memory suppression. Our minds protect us in ways that seem horrendous. There is usually a time when the psyche determines it is "safe" to remember. The fallout can be horrendous or lead to amazing growth. A thrilling mystery that will keep you guessing.
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